All Science on Tap events take place at 6pm the second Monday of the month at National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, unless otherwise stated. Be sure to arrive early to get seats!


March 12, 2018

Modern Methods for Studying Ancient Philadelphia: An Introduction to Digital Archaeology in Turkey


One of the oldest Philadelphias in the world is located in what is now western Turkey, at the city today called Alaşehir. This talk introduces the history and archaeology of this region of the world, located between Ancient Greece and the Near East. This summer, we plan to commence an archaeological project to survey this area and map human occupation in all time periods. This project will employ a variety of new digital tools to record and analyze archaeological evidence: from drones and GPS, to cloud computing and databases, to 3d scanning and photogrammetry, to historical satellite and aerial imagery. Come join us to discuss how the latest technologies are improving the ways we study the past!

CobbPAbout the speaker: Dr. Peter J. Cobb is an Anatolian archaeologist and a ceramics specialist. He studies Bronze and Iron Age ceramics and has participated in archaeological projects in Turkey for many years. He is the Kowalski Family teaching specialist in the Penn Museum’s Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials and a lecturer in the Department of Classical Studies. Peter applies digital techniques to his analysis of ancient ceramics, focusing on the 3d scanning of ceramic sherds and their subsequent automated morphometric analysis. Peter also brings a digital humanities approach to his archaeological fieldwork in Turkey, emphasizing the direct digital recording of archaeological evidence during excavation and surface survey with the goal of publishing these data open access online in order to enable reuse and reevaluation at the highest level of detail. With more data available at higher accuracies, it will be possible to apply data science approaches to help address archaeological questions and thus improve our understanding of the human past. Since 2016, he has been an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Price Lab for Digital Humanities.

March’s talk is hosted by the Penn Museum.